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Burke “inclined” to keep Leafs’ first-round draft pick

Brian Burke

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke speaks to the media for the first time since the death of his 21-year-old Brendan on Friday, Feb. 12, 20101, before an NHL hockey game between the Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)


Brian Burke doesn’t like being asked about his job security, but will his actions speak louder than words when it comes to the Leafs’ first-round draft pick?

In the midst of a horrendous collapse, Toronto’s all but officially eliminated from the playoff race. In fact, the Leafs have fallen so dramatically in the standings that they might end up with a chance to get the first overall draft selection this summer.

Which brings us to the general manager – would he be willing to trade that pick for immediate help? Because if he doesn’t make the playoffs soon, the calls for his job will only intensify.

“[We’re] inclined to keep the pick,” Burke said, as reported by the Globe and Mail, “but listening [to offers] already.

Not that trading the pick would necessarily be a bad idea – it just depends on the deal. But we all know the heat Burke’s taken for the Phil Kessel trade that netted Boston blue-chip prospects Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton. Kessel’s been good in Toronto, but he only has two seasons left before he can become an unrestricted free agent. Seguin and Hamilton are tied to the Bruins for much longer.